- World's oldest underground network brings digital future to commuters
- Virgin Media to provide free WiFi to passengers this summer
- By end of July 80 stations to have WiFi access. 120 expected by the end of the year
London Tube journeys have taken a gigantic leap into the 21st century with the launch of Virgin Media's next generation WiFi service on London Underground. From today (7 June) passengers can get online and stay in touch with the world above at King's Cross and Warren Street Tube stations. Oxford Circus and Green Park Tube stations will go live from tomorrow (8 June), with Victoria and Euston going live on 9 June, meaning passengers on the Victoria line will be the first to benefit from WiFi.
Up to 80 Tube stations across the capital will be connected by the end of July and 120 stations are expected to be live by the end of 2012.
The capital is already home to more software and IT companies than any other European City; and the digital and hi-tech sector is expected to account for a third of the capital's growth over the next two decades. Ensuring London's digital connectivity is world class will be key to furthering this growth - helping existing tech start-ups to grow and attracting high tech global investment.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "We need to ensure London is able to cement its position as Europe's leading digital city. Our partnership with Virgin Media to make WiFi available on Tube platforms will be of tremendous benefit as building world class connectivity is critical to supporting new businesses and the jobs they create, especially in the high-tech and creative sectors."
A comprehensive, free WiFi portal will allow millions of commuters and visitors to get online and find their way around London with up-to-the-minute TfL travel information, as well as discover great things to do in the capital with daily recommendations from Time Out, exclusive playlists from Spotify and the latest trailers and red carpet gossip from MyMovies.Net.
Working in close partnership with Transport for London, Virgin Media is also offering free, full internet access to every online destination throughout the summer, so all Tube passengers will be able to share one of the most amazing summers London has ever seen.
Gareth Powell, London Underground's Director of Strategy and Service Development, said: "Our new WiFi service is a fantastic deal for Londoners, with live travel updates, entertainment and news freely available to everyone while they are on the move across the capital.
"WiFi at Tube stations will help us improve the journeys of the millions of people that use the Underground everyday at no cost to fare or tax payers."
Neil Berkett, CEO, Virgin Media, said: "This is a truly historic moment as we connect millions of Tube passengers to the wonderful world of the internet for the first time ever. Our plans for getting London Underground online were very ambitious from the start and, in less than just three months, we've launched a major new service, making London one of the world's leading connected cities. By putting the power of Virgin Media's next generation fibre optic network in the hands of Londoners and visitors, we're able to showcase our great capital and celebrate a momentous summer."
To use the new free WiFi service, London Underground passengers just need to connect to the service and register their email address.
All Tube passengers will have permanent, free access to the new Virgin Media WiFi portal, with up-to-the-minute TfL travel news and great content from Virgin Media's WiFi partners Time Out, Spotify and MyMovies.net.
After the summer, passengers wanting to hop onto the rest of the internet will be able to make the most of a range of options including full internet access for customers of Virgin Media and selected networks, as well as a Pay As You Go service perfect for visitors and regular London commuters.
1 The London Underground stations planned for installation in June and July 2012 are:
Aldgate East Elephant & Castle London Bridge St Paul's
Angel Embankment Manor House Stepney Green
Archway Euston Mansion House Stockwell
Arsenal Euston Square Marble Arch Stratford
Barbican Finsbury Park Marylebone Swiss Cottage
Bayswater Goodge Street Mile End Temple
Bermondsey Green Park North Greenwich Tottenham Hale
Bethnal Green Hammersmith (District/Picc) Old Street Tower Hill
Blackhorse Road Heathrow T1-3 Oval Tufnell Park
Borough Heathrow T4 Oxford Circus Vauxhall
Brixton High Street Kensington Paddington (Main) Victoria
Caledonian Road Highbury & Islington Piccadilly Circus Walthamstow Central
Camden Town Holborn Pimlico Warren Street
Canada Water Holland Park Queensway Warwick Avenue
Canary Wharf Hyde Park Corner Regents Park Waterloo
Canning Town Kentish Town Seven Sisters Wembley Central
Chancery Lane Kings Cross/St Pancras Southfields Wembley Park
Charing Cross Lambeth North Southwark West Ham
Clapham North Lancaster Gate St James Park Wimbledon Park
Covent Garden Leicester Square St Johns Wood Westminster
Edgware Road (Circle) Liverpool Street
To keep up-to-date with the roll-out, please visit www.virginmedia.com/wifi or www.tfl.gov.uk/wifi.
- To power the WiFi service, Virgin Media is providing connectivity to each Underground station and London Underground has installed in-station equipment, including on-platform access points, to create a station-wide hotspot
- Passengers will be able to get online throughout connected London Underground stations: from the ticket hall, on the escalators and on the platforms. Users will be also connected whilst on a train in a platform but WiFi will not work in London Underground tunnels
- In line with the established industry approach to adult content on mobiles, Virgin Media will block adult sites on the new WiFi service utilising a Nominum content filtering solution
- London Underground and Virgin Media are launching an advertising and customer information campaign throughout Tube stations and online to ensure passengers can make the most of the service. Users will be encouraged to go online to explore the service, find out how the service works and share experiences, hints and tips
- The Tube is undergoing a huge and essential programme to upgrade its ageing infrastructure - vital to cope with a growing population and to support the economic development and growth of the capital and the UK. This includes the introduction of new track and signalling and the rebuilding of some of our most important stations. By the end of the current programme there will be 30% more capacity. This will inevitably result in some disruption for passengers, but TfL is working hard to provide information and alternative travel options. The work is essential to provide for London's growing transport needs now, and into the future. TfL is urging all Londoners and Tube, London Overground, London Tramlink and DLR passengers to "check before you travel" at weekends, allowing extra journey time where necessary. Weekend travel news is available at www.tfl.gov.uk/check.